The view sure is nice from up there, isn’t it? Team Blacksheep flew a drone all across—or more accurately, all over—Dubai to show you downtown Dubai, the Palm Island, the Burj Al Arab and of course, the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. It’s the closest we’ll ever get to flying like Superman.Read more..
The Federal Aviation Administration, the US agency that regulates the law of the skies, indicated this week that it is streamlining its process for approving the use of some small unmanned aerial vehicles in the domestic airspace for certain commercial activities like filmmaking, farming, and utilities inspection.
While the FAA’s complete set of rules on domestic drone operation will not likely be finalized within the next calendar year—this despite the fact that Congress created a framework for the FAA to grant permits for small commercial drones in low-risk situations in 2012 with passage of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act—the agency has indicated that it will take steps to permit some small-scale commercial drones sooner than anticipated.
“The FAA is proactively working to develop and disseminate information on the FAA’s authority… for people who want to operate [drones] for other than hobby or recreational purposes,” an FAA spokeswoman told Ars on Friday.
Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments
For many modern UAVs, portability comes at the cost of airtime longevity—the smaller the drone, the shorter it stays in the air. But the Lockheed Fury 1500 is small enough to be packed to the ends of the Earth and strong enough to loiter over that spot for more than half a day. Read more..
The R-Bat. Image: Northrop GrummanManned agricultural aviation—crop dusting, essentially—is about to die as a profession. The industry is going down kicking and screaming, spending thousands lobbying against drones and filing court briefs trying to keep unmanned aircraft in a legal grey area.As we mentioned in December, it has become clear that drones are going to revolutionize agriculture—the only question is when the Federal Aviation Administration is going to allow it to. Crop duster airplanes are extremely dangerous, expensive, and are completely replaceable by drones
A homemade Lithuanian drone was reportedly being used to smuggle cigarettes into Russia, meaning that organized crime has beaten Amazon to the punch in the quest to deliver desirable products to customers aerially. Russia has “detained” the drone, Oleg Dzhurayev, a spokesman with the Kaliningrad border department of the Russian Federal Security service, told one of Russia’s largest news organizations, ITAR-TASS, earlier this week.It’s not the first time drones have been used to smuggle products—back in November, people tried to smuggle drugs into a prison in Georgia; the same thing happened in Sao Paolo back in March and in Quebec last fall. Basically, people have learned that drones are good at carrying things (I, for one, am pretty into this miniature single cigarette pack-carrying drone you see in the video above—it’s pretty cute).But back to Russia: The reported scale of this operation is pretty impressive—according to ITAR-TASS, the drone had a wingspan of roughly 12 feet, and could carry 22 pounds of cigarettes, which is a whole lot of pounds of cigarettes